Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007, hello 2008

2007 has come to an end, which means it's time for a quick review of the year just passed.

I started the year with two resolutions: take the AICP exam and clean and organize the upstairs bedroom (which has been little more than a cluttered storage area ever since we moved into this house three years ago). As it turns out, I was one for two: I took the AICP exam and apparently passed (I'm still waiting for official confirmation, however), but the upstairs room is as cluttered and as chaotic as ever. So, I guess I'll just have to rollover this resolution to 2008: by the end of the upcoming year, I want to have that messy, clutter-strewn room clean and organized. It's a hurculean task, to be sure, and I've been avoiding doing it simply because I really don't even know where to start, but it's something I need to do and I know I'll be a lot happier once I do it.

My other resolution for 2008 is to fix the leaky roof over the sun porch as well as the leak over the upstairs bathroom. Fixing these leaks isn't going to be cheap, but they're simply necessary. The sun porch will never be of much use to us as long as its roof acts like a sieve during rainstorms, and I'm getting tired of positioning buckets in the upstairs bathroom to collect water everytime it rains. I resolve to have these problems fixed by December 31, 2008. Lori and I have simply invested too much time and money in this house to have it be plagued by leaky roofs!

I also want to follow through on a months-old plan of mine and find a new webhost for my website. These, aside from the usual "lose weight, exercise more, etc." resolutions that everybody (myself included) manages to make and fail to keep, are my goals for 2008. Modest? Maybe. I'm lazy and like to set the bar low.

As for 2007: neither Lori nor myself will ever be confused for particularly religious people, but looking back on 2007 it is clear that Lori's layoff from her previous job at a local traffic engineering firm was a blessing for all of us. She didn't really enjoy that job, nor most of the people she worked with. As traumatic has her layoff was to her, and as financially difficult as her four months of unemployment was to all of us, the fact that Lori finally landed a new job where she is appreciated and where she feels good about the work she produces makes it all worthwhile. Her new job keeps her busy, for sure, but she no longer comes home from work angry and frustrated. And that, by itself, is a huge improvement in our quality of life.

Lori's job change was really the biggest thing to happen to both of us over the past year. To be sure, having both my brother and my brother-in-law move away last spring was something of a life-changing event for us, especially since David and Danny were the two people I hung out with the most when they were here, but not quite on the same order of magnitude as Lori's job situation. Speaking entirely for myself, I guess my most memorable event of the past year was my service as jury foreman for a DWI case in June. I also enjoyed watching a couple of caterpillars I found in my front yard garden turn into beautiful butterflies. As routine as caterpillar-to-butterfly transitions might be, when you really pay attention to them you can't help but be humbled. Oh, and I finally broke down and got a new computer.

It was a rough year for my mom's side of the family. My cousin's death last February was a huge shock to all of us (her cause of death is believed to have been a stroke), and my uncle's passing last November was also saddening. I'll miss both Evelyn and Glen.

That. more or less, sums up 2007. What happens in 2008? We can say with relative certainty will be a presidential election and a summer Olympics, but otherwise, nobody can predict the future. All we can do is hope for the best. Which is why I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

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